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23April2017 Landfall on the Baja

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Made landfall 1 p.m. in Bahia Frailes, at SE tip of Baja, after mostly motoring from Isla Isabela in light to non-existent winds - just two hours of sailing without the motor running in just over two days of passage..

Found deep water until very close to beach but finally anchored OK although closer in than I was happy with. Left track showing on plotter and woke up frequently overnight to check our position.

Late afternoon yesterday, dolphins had come by and one leaped really high out of the water close by - the second time, it looked me right in the eye as I applauded! Lovely!

Just before first light this morning, I came up to admire the crescent moon astern and a bright planet (Venus?) not far to its left - and got a nasty shock. I seemed to be seeing two steep-sided small islands not far astern, slightly off to starboard.. "Just not possible!" I thought, after a time - so what were they.? Ships? - but not showing lights. Navy? "We must have got quite close," I thought, puzzled . I was quite worried but then the light slowly increased - and I realised that these 'objects' were lumpy low clouds on the far horizon - what a relief!

On chatting to radio friends, I discovered that I'd acquired a new amateur radio callsign - to celebrate Canadian 125th Anniversary of 'unification' they've issued special callsigns - so my 'special' maritime callsign is now CG0JSJ, rather than the VE0JSJ I've been using up to now. Feels odd to be using a different one on the radio.

The weather has been very pleasantly sunny and warm here on the Baja.

During the late afternoon and evening, several groups of Mobelo rays (far smaller than the enormous Manta ray which is also occasionally seen hereabouts) were swimming in the bay. They gave a superb display - the small groups were slowly circling around, leaping simultaneously out of the water, bodies horizontal, falling 'splat' - mostly on their bellies - with a big splash. A spectacular display that kept me busy with my camera - not easy to catch them at the right moment!

Monday 24th April 2017

Another amazing sight as I was leaving Bahia Frailes this morning ! A pair of Orcas was seen vigorously circling close and 'herding' a small shoal of about two dozen Mobelo rays - I saw them again a short while after the Orcas had moved away so they seemed to have mostly, at least, survived the incident. Maybe the Orcas found they were not good eating? They do have a long tail with a sting, like their bigger relatives - maybe that saved them?

After several hours of motoring north in a flat calm, with a futile attempt to use the genoa at one point, we arrived in Los Muertos - a lovely, big, shallow, sandy bay with good holding and clear water but absolutely no hint of a telephone signal - so no calls or SMS possible from my Mexican mobile. My friends on 'Tillicum' had arrived from La Paz shortly before and we spent an enjoyable evening together catching up on news. Worrying on the N.Korea/USA front - I just hope that commonsense prevails and the situation dies down without a totally disastrous outcome.

Will stay here another day at least, before moving on towards La Paz. I'm looking forward to a nice swim - which will undoubtedly end up as a boat-cleaning operation, as usual! Nice to relax.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates